Thoughts On Cankles, Dieting, and Finding My Voice.

The night before I started my first diet, I looked a package of Oreos square in the eyeball and said, “This isn’t goodbye forever, this is goodbye for now.”

Every. Single. Day.

Every. Single. Day.

Some background on the subject: I went on said diet because when I came back from studying abroad, my mother informed me that I had developed cankles during my four month stint overseas. I guess eating carbs all day, erry day, while simultaneously washing them down with all the beers in the world causes your ankles to swell in such away that you actually can’t tell they were ever ankles in the first place.

I knew that the diet wouldn’t last forever. Mostly because I’m an impulsive eater and can’t keep my hands off of anything that resembles a dessert treat. But it was something I needed to do in order to learn balance and appreciation of food, rather than just shoveling it into my face without breathing.

My struggles with food and dieting is a conversation topic for an entirely different time. What I’m trying to do with that poorly structured metaphor, is explain that some times you need to step away from things that make you happy, in order to better yourself in other ways.

I started this blog back in 2013.  At the time, it was a great way to avoid doing actual work.  I was able to find my voice, define my writing style, unload all my weird thoughts permanently on the internet, and ultimately, figure out that writing was and is my passion, and that I needed to work hard to pursue it.

In January 2015, I achieved my goal of becoming an advertising copywriter.

In short, this means that there has been increasingly less time that I have been able to dedicate towards writing for my personal benefit. Sure, it’s sad, but just like the Oreos, there are things in life you have to give up in order to improve upon yourself.

Only instead of decreasing the size of my ankles so I can wear regular shoes, it’s taking a step back from growing in my personal writing to finding my voice within the professional world.

So this is not goodbye forever. I’m sure there will be gems that I can think of that truly deserve to be written, and they will. But in terms of regular posts and consistent content, I can’t commit to that any further.  For those of you who have been loyal followers, I appreciate it more than you know.

You have given me the opportunity to share my ideas, thoughts, and weird stories. I’ve been afforded the chance to read some amazing posts, connect and network with awesome writers, and find people that I admire, adore, and am completely jealous of their minds.

So check back periodically for some rambles that will most likely involve snacks, wine, and how I’ll really never understand how to be socially acceptable during human interactions.

If you’re not my mom and aren’t already following me on everything, and for some reason want to keep up with me on other platforms, please feel free to follow me on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER, and I’ll return the favor.

Advertisements

I Just Realized, I’m Twenty-Five And My Life Is Over.

I think the best and worst moment of my life was when I realized I had turned into my parents.

Not the sixteen year old realization, though, that would be sad. Not that the twenty-five year old realization is that much more profound.

But there’s something about growing up; I mean, actually growing up that really just grows arms and slaps you in the face and lets you know that everything that happened before this moment was just a prelude to you being an internally old human being, destined to live in yoga pants, braless on your couch watching reruns of Friends thinking about all those “good days” without responsibility.

At sixteen, if I had realized I turned out to be my parents I would have done everything in my power to regain my youth and just mess shit up for the fun of it.  As a junior in high school, you never, under any circumstances, want to be your parents.

It’s like going to that party and realizing that the girl who was always “the mom” was there, and she was going to make sure you didn’t drink too much beer, fall asleep somewhere inappropriate, or raid too much of that host’s refrigerator, so when the actual parents came home, it just looked like the kid in charge got super hungry one night and binge ate all the deli meats.

The worst part about realizing that I’ve turned into my parents is the fact that I’ve followed the status quo – depending on what you believe in, of course – and have finally graduated from crazy, party, uncontrollable college girl into full blown quasi-housewife, happy and willing to anticipate the needs of my significant other far beyond my own.

And the stark contrast is that I’m borderline, if not over the fence okay about it.

It’s like I turned twenty-five and all the sudden my brain cells and neurons started triggering all this nonsense about me not being the most important person in the world, and that someone else’s needs matter far more than my own.  And holy shit, I haven’t even had a child yet so this post will change in about five years.

I digress.

The best part about turning into my parents is the fact that I am saving a boat load of money.  I mean, like, saving is totally the thing to do right now.  I am hoarding without intervention because no one seems to think I have a problem with the fact that money isn’t confetti and I don’t need to throw it around to prove that I have it.

And hormonally, at my age, some people know putting it in a bank is far more worthwhile than drinking four glasses of wine at some bar called “Taco” that doesn’t even serve mexican food.

Sidenote: Not that I don’t still drink wines at Taco and complain about the fact that they don’t serve Mexican food. I still do that. It’s god damn outrageous and the owners need to be quarantined and condemned to a lifetime of solely eating burritos.

The other great part is that I don’t think I’m hormonally imbalanced, although that is still up for debate, but there is something extremely and unfortunately true about the phases of life.

We all go through these stages, obviously at different paces considering the circumstances, but we all do.  Birth to teen being the nourishment, get what we need to survive stage.  Teen to young adult being the fake it ’til we make it stage. And then here, where I am, the holy shit I’ve made it, I’m an adult, paying my own way through life, figuring out who I am and what I’m going to do for the rest of it stage.

Whatever stage you’re in, you’re going to make it out alive. It might not be on your timeline, it might not be the way you want it, but you’ll make it.

Just look at your parents.  The entire time they were telling you what to do, where to be, what grades to get, and what goals to set, they knew that someday, down the line, whatever you were going through was a phase. Because they went through it too.

And when you take a step back and realize that, on a Friday night, you’d rather be home, pants off, braless on your couch watching reruns of Friends and remembering the “good old days,” then you’ll know that you’ve turned into your parents.

Life is funny that way.  Things always seem to come full circle.  The people you distrusted the most and hated being around now become the sole reason for your coming home.  At the end of the day, your parents are fucking awesome.

Because when they had you, they had to wait twenty-five years or more for that moment to come, and think of how goddamn grateful they are that you are just now realizing how much shit they had to put up with in order to get to this place.

And be thankful that you finally turned into your parents.


Have you turned into your parents? If not, are you scared?

Hey 2014, Thanks For All The Cramps.

Have you ever stayed in on a Friday night drinking wine and wondering what position you’d chose to pose in as a gargoyle for the rest of time?

If you have, why didn’t you call me? And if you haven’t, you clearly not only have friends, but way less time on your hands than I do.

What I realized while arbitrarily planning to cement myself in time, is that a lot of what I do revolves around me being comfortable.  Like, if I’m going to be plastered in a position for the rest of time, you best believe I will try to avoid cramping.

This is what I would look like if I was a gargoyle.

This is what I would look like if I was a gargoyle.

To prove my point, yesterday, I had my legs vertical to drain all the lactic acid out of my fat ankles while I was simultaneously trying to reach for my beer, and my roommate boyfriend captured the ultimate depiction of the laziest human being on the planet.

help.

help.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t he just help? And while that question still remains in my brain, and I will subsequently keep it for ammunition the next time he asks me to get something for him, by taking this picture of me struggling to achieve the impossible, yet really, really simple task of picking up a beer, he unknowingly captured the picture that represented the entire year of 2014.

2014 gave me cramps. 

No, I’m not talking about lady cramps, although, I’ll do almost anything to avoid those. I’ll steal a baby. Don’t tell me I won’t.

(For legal purposes, if your baby goes missing, it was not me. I still have cramps and that’s how you know I’m telling the truth)

I’m talking about metaphorical cramps. These are the things that remind us something needs to change in order to become the best possible version of yourself.  Sometimes they’re good reminders, like the soreness after a hard workout telling you that you did everything right.

But then there are the not so fun ones, like the headache after a hangover, constantly making you question whether or not you’ll drink again.

Hint: You will drink again.

2014 was mostly full of bad cramps that yielded good results, because change is not always easy; sometimes it’s hard, it sucks, and you hate it.  But that’s life, and it’s unexpected as hell.

There was that chip on your shoulder.

You know, that thing that happened a while ago that you can’t really get over.  Everyone can tell everyone else to stop holding grudges, but it’s never that easy when you’re the one who has to let go and move on.  Most times, it’s easier to stay mad at the person than confront the actual issue at hand.  I guess that’s why it’s a chip though.  Whoever it was, and whatever they did, they kind of ate away at you.

You may have been a pain in the ass.

Or maybe you had one.  Whichever it was, remember that no one likes a pain in the ass. If you have a pain in the ass you should get rid it. Immediately. The last thing you need after a hard day of work is to come home, sit down, and be constantly reminded that someone or something is still annoying the crap out of you.

Maybe you found out your Achilles heel. 

There is nothing, I mean nothing worse than figuring out what can hurt you the most.  But the good thing about finding it out, is that you can make strides towards preventing that from happening.  Surround yourself with people that will be beneficial to you in the long run, those who will support you and grow with you, rather than those who will hold you back.

You realized life is better without the headaches.

If you’re constantly on edge, stressed out, or unhappy, there’s something wrong.  Knowing what may literally be causing your headaches is one thing, but eliminating them can be an entirely different process.  I love coffee. So, so much. And when I don’t have it, I get a massive headache. Is the risk of eliminating coffee out of my life worth it? Not yet.  But if someone or something in your life is causing you way more stress than comfort, take a closer look, and maybe you’ll decide that eliminating them gives you a clearer head.

Sometimes you have to accept that cramps are part of life.

Just like lady cramps, people come and go.  There is never going to be a year where you won’t have to make sacrifices in order to improve your overall well being.  I mean, come on, taking birth control pills to prevent yourself from becoming a she-beast each month is proof enough.

But bumps in the road are par for the course.  People come in and out of our lives for different reasons at different times.  Not everyone is meant to be permanent.  That doesn’t mean the time spent with you was invaluable.  We can all learn something from someone else, we can all help each other become people that we want to be.  We just don’t all have to hold hands and walk each other to the finish line.

Because no friendship or relationship, regardless of how long or short, is insignificant.  Those people were brought into your life for a reason, and maybe they’re staying for a while, but maybe they’ve left this year.

But when you start to get a headache, become a pain in the ass, or develop a chip on your shoulder, put up your feet and get rid of the cramp right there.  It’s better to deal with problems head on than to be lazy and let them unnecessarily morph into something bigger.

And this is also where I need to take my own advice.


What are your New Year’s Resolutions? How did you make yourself better in 2014? Did you get any cramps this year? If so, which ones?

I’m Wearing Zombie Socks And Forgot To Wear Make Up To Work

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! Nothing like some good old ‘undead’ foot fashion and my irresponsible mindset of a seven year old to forget to put on makeup before I left the house this morning.

Sorry to everyone who has seen my face today.  Actually, sorry to everyone who looks at me a lot, I’m making strides towards not looking like I just woke up… all the time. #Flawless

Click the picture for a direct link!

Click the picture for a direct link!

Anyways, here’s an article I wrote for Elite Daily chronicling the seven types of girls you will most likely meet tonight at your new year’s soiree. HAVE A READ! And have a safe, happy, and healthy new year. I love you, I mean it, and I wish I could adopt all of you and pay you for your friendship in slice and bake cookies.

This year has gone above and beyond what I thought it would. Compared to how I felt around this time last year, it is like night and day. It’s crazy how life can kick you in the ass for a year and then completely turn itself around.  It may seem so trivial, but be thankful for all the bad in your life; that way you’ll truly appreciate and respect and cherish the good.

And to show you how true that statement really is, here’s a picture on New Year’s Eve last year that someone captured after asking me the question, “If you could sum up 2013 in one blurry face, what would it look like?”

2013 = fireball and ugly face.

2013 = The Year of the Ugly Fireball Face

Happy New Year!


What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?

 

I Wanted A Pony, I Got A Lecture.

Watch out. Marlborough Man. There's a new chick in town.

Watch out. Marlborough Man. There’s a new chick in town.

Every year for my birthday I prayed that I would get a horse.  Instead, I got my cousin’s old sweaters and a lecture from my mother on being grateful for the things I already had.

A hand-me-down, by definition, is something that has been passed on from another person.  Most likely, you’ll refer to that old coat with holes in it that never kept you warm in the winter, or the pair of socks that went through three siblings before they made their way to your feet.

They are the sweaters your brother always wore that made him look so cool, or the high heels in your mother’s closet that your six-year-old feet prayed every night they would one day fit inside.

They are the items that the previous owner took care of enough to live a second or third life.  Like the house that’s been in your family for generations, or that weird glass duck your mom keeps on the mantle, and no one really knows where it came from.  But it has value.  So it’s passed down, kept, and maintained.

In an effort to avoid being completely literal, I want to talk about the hand-me-downs in our lives that are way less tangible, yet far more meaningful.

These are the attributes that have shaped you into the person you are today. It’s the ideals, beliefs, and quirks we learned from people in our lives that had an impact far greater than a birthday gift.  A hand-me-down isn’t just an object, it is something that makes you who you are.

It is your mannerisms; the ways you move, gestures you make.

It’s why you always twirl your hair because your older sister did it when she was talking to boys.  It’s the nervous ticks you inherited from your mother because she hates public speaking.  The way you always talk with your hands because your family always had to show rather than tell you what they were talking about.

It is your perception of color, and the way it can positively or negatively affect your life.

It’s the inheritance of racism, sexism, and the idea of inequality from previous generations.  Views that your parents, grandparents, and relatives had that were unfortunately passed down to you.  Or you might carry the legacy of acceptance, open mindness, and visions of equality.  Your mind is a sponge, and you know that skin color is no grounds for inferiority, and people are people, all of whom we can learn from.

It is your voice, and the way it carries you through life.

You’ll never be able to count how many times you’ve been asked why you don’t say your R’s, or how you got your lisp.  You’ll never be able to explain why you learned to say “draw” instead of “droor,” or “theeter” rather than “thee-a-ter.”  It’s because you were taught to hold your tongue and wait for others to speak, or why it’s your innate desire to blurt out your thoughts without thinking of the repercussions.

It is the lesson you learn from the past.

Whether it be a day, a week, a month, or years, there are people in our lives that have an impact.  It’s because of that time you fell in love too quickly, and from then on, refused to show all your cards from the start.  It’s the friends who made you laugh, realizing you need those more than ones who will bring you down.  It’s that man on the street who greets you every day, letting you know that the littlest bit goes the longest way.

It is your genetic make up.

Or the reason why you dealt with curly hair through puberty when all the pretty girls had straight. It’s why your thighs are thicker and your waist is smaller.  It’s why your face is longer and your nose is pointy, and the reason you can’t digest dairy or are prone to alcoholism.  It’s all the things that make up who you are, and remind you where you came from.

That weird glass duck will always be sitting on your mantle, and no one really knows where it came from.  But as human beings, we are all walking examples of what has been handed down to us.  We represent an amalgam of experiences, cultures, perceptions, and memories, all of which affect how we act on a day to day basis, for both the good and the bad.

And we will all eventually pass those things down.  Just remember that the next time you don’t say hi to that stranger on the street, or talk down to someone without thinking of the effect it will have, or go for the guy you think you can change when you’ve never been able to change one of them.


What hand me downs to you have?

I’m On The Wrong Side of Twenty-Five

Chevvvvvvvs.

Chevvvvvvvs.

So, um.  Vacation is real, and it’s fucking awesome.  It also hurts like hell when it’s over.

But sound the alarms, hide all the children, bake every cake, cause I’m back and I’m chock full of noggin goodies and ready to write em down.

Mentally, I feel great. Physically, I’m a little worse for wear.  As you get older, you really start to recognize how many things you just can’t do anymore.  Along with wearing overalls and cheetah print scrunchies, I found out over the course of my week long hiatus that I can’t quite hang like a college kid and bounce back like I used to when I wasn’t twenty-five.

I woke up this morning and my eyes essentially refused to open, and walking in to work looking like you just toked up with Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg is never a good look.  #apologies

What I’ve learned this week is that I’m on the wrong side of twenty-five.  

And that really, really sucks.  Cause being on the right side is always more fun, I think.  Depending on how you look at fun, I guess.  Criminals and the like would probably disagree with me.  But then again, they’re in jail and I’m not… yet.

I may be young and able-bodied, but I am in no way, shape, or form, capable of doing beer olympics and not spending the entire following day curled  up in a ball watching reruns of CSI while having someone spoonfeed me macaroni and cheese covered in velveeta.

Listen to your bodies.  When you wake up on Sunday and you feel like crap, going outside and sitting in the sun without drinking water is not going to make you feel any better on Monday.  In fact, it will make you feel worse.

Exercise is always good.  Even when it’s not good, you’ll feel better after you’re done.  Or at least that’s what my mother tells me.  I always say the same thing about naps and chocolate.

If you have a good buzz going, cleaning your kitchen and/or entire house will be way more productive in the moment.  You will cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.  Drunk minutes always seem to double regular minutes, but you may also wake up wondering why you slept in bed with a swiffer wet jet and why your dog is wearing rubber cleaning gloves.

Never forget to eat.  At twenty-five, this seems like it should be natural.  It’s not.  Sometimes you spend all day shooting the shit and catching up with old friends and wake up the next morning realizing your body survived a day of treacherous drinking on one egg and 8 pieces of cold bacon.  Set alarms, bring a buddy, or grow the hell up and remember to nourish yourself.

Strapless bathing suits are the devil.

Keep in touch with old friends.  Especially if you experienced something life changing together.  Friends like that don’t come into your life often, so cherish them.  Make a point to see them, keep in touch, and reunite as much as you can.  You’ll want to remember the time one of you passed out in a strange place and how many different locations you traveled to in order to reunite. (shameless plug)

And last but not least, it was confirmed that Ray Rice is a giant pile of douche bags.


What did you learn this week?

Dear Girls Of Tomorrow,

I’ve been there before.  I’ve made those mistakes. Take my advice: here’s how not to dress.

We live in a digital age.  It’s no secret that most things we do eventually end up on the internet.  This is awesome for events like New Years Eve, birthday parties, and charity events or functions.

Then there are the events involving a face plant in the street running to catch the late bus that your friend HAD to document.

To put it bluntly, not everyone is photogenic.  But that doesn’t give you an excuse to throw common sense out the window with the baby and the bathwater.

What I’m saying is, there’s going to be pictures of you girls circulating the internet for the rest of your lives.  You need to take preventative measures to ensure that when you do land your dream job interview, a picture of you in seventh grade wearing a Ronald Regan mask and your grandmother’s bathrobe doesn’t surface during the process.

So you should not do any of these things before or during taking a picture that will represent you for the rest of your life at that age, and your friends and family will also see it and that is how they will remember you forever.

2nd Grade

2nd Grade

A general rule of thumb is to not wear your grandmother’s tablecloth when taking a photo.

A nice pink embroidered doily collar may seem cutesy and innocent, but in reality it will only make your co-workers and peers question whether or not your mother took outfits off your life-sized Raggedy Ann doll and dressed you in them in an effort to save money.

Also a good thing to remember is to not do dangerous activities before a known photo-op.  Going on a two-wheel bike adventure when you aren’t the most confident rider isn’t the type of activity you want to roll into when your third grade yearbook photo is right around the corner.

3rd Grade

3rd Grade

If you’re just too adventurous and crazy to avoid indulging in extreme sports, you’ll inevitably be the girl wearing long underwear because you can’t fit regular sleeves over your cast.

REMEMBER: THERE ARE ALWAYS RETAKES. ALWAYS.

Borrowing argyle sweater vests from your youngest brother is not only frowned upon, but in some countries it’s illegal.  I don’t care how flawless your hair looks that day, or if you were an ombre pioneer before ombre was a ‘thing,’ you do not need clothes that badly that you resort to rummaging through your brother’s drawers to find an outfit.

4th Grade

4th Grade

(But I mean look at that blonde to light blonde fade, it’s totally magnificent, right?)

Make sure your shirts fit you.

A good way to determine if a shirt fits is by making sure it is not two sizes bigger than every other shirt you own. Or that is not your mom’s.

5th Grade

5th Grade

Don’t wear choker necklaces, even if that dangly bead in the middle is the most jaw-dropping plastic gemstone you own, and it makes Rose’s sapphire necklace from Titanic pale in comparison.

Seriously, don’t get bangs in puberty.

I don’t care if they look great on Sabrina, the cool girl, you will ultimately end up gluing them to your scalp with a can of Rave hairspray every morning and consequently looking more like a guido-gremlin hybrid than a fifth grade girl.

Oh yeah… and braces. There are no rules about braces except that it’s required to change the rubber band colors to coordinate with the holidays.

Don’t set the tone for your middle school reputation by wearing a floral v-neck from Limited Too.

6th Grade

6th Grade

Also, practice your smile extensively before taking any pictures.

Photographs aren’t forgiving – neither are parents when it comes to allowing you to hang out with their children.

Creepy smiles will not get you very far.  It definitely won’t get you a babysitting job.

Puberty is the worst time in your life.  Try and make the best of it.

7th Grade

7th Grade

Wearing half-turtle neck argyle sweaters is not a way to make the best of it.  At the very least, if you’re going to do it, commit to a full neck or at least a scarf.

It’s imperative that you never, ever let your mother attempt to tame your pubescent mane by straightening it with a curling iron.  You will end up with tresses shaped like a voluminous frizz triangle and have people asking if someone rubbed a balloon on the back of your head to create static electricity.

Wearing your hair in a half-up, half-down fashion is completely acceptable, if done correctly.

8th Grade

8th Grade

Wearing half of your hair in a bun from gym class and the other half down as the remnants of last night’s botched straightening job is a big, big no no no nononononoNO.

Plus, wearing a collared shirt with a lace-up neckline is one step shy of actually going cookoo for Coco Puffs.

And again, with the smile. Please, for the love of God, practice your smile.

Avoid shopping at Aeropostale, Wet Seal, or Rave.

9th Grade

9th Grade

Don’t take two tiny tresses located at the widow’s peak section of your hairline and wear them in a bang-like, accessory fashion, not pulling them into your ponytail or headband.

You will regret this.  Mostly because you will slightly resemble a dinosaur.

Last, but definitely not least, if your friends ever tell you it’s okay to take sweatshirts from lost and found and parade around claiming them as your own, please ignore them and immediately question their intelligence.

By not doing these things, and following my instructions, strangers will not have to wonder – even just a little bit – if you grew to develop an odd affinity for fedoras or played the tambourine in a traveling band.

Ultimately, fashion consciousness is not always second nature with every girl, clearly it wasn’t my strong point.  At the end of the day, if you don’t do or wear what makes you happy, you’re missing out on a lot of what life has to offer.  Do what you love, and wear what you want.

Unless it’s a lace up, argyle, v-neck polo.  Please, please, please avoid those.

UP NEXT: How to NOT apply make-up.

Love,

Meg (President of the Late Bloomers)

The Common White Girl’s Idea of Struggling

Life is an uphill battle, but why toil with the stairs when you can take the elevator to the top?

I’m a common white girl from Connecticut and my idea of a struggle is figuring out how close I need to get to the drive-thru window in order to reach my food without unbuckling my seatbelt.

People tell you from day one to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.  So that’s what I do.  But it’s a constant battle with the weather these days.  I can’t get anything to go my way.  I mean how am I supposed to channel corporate chic when I live in a metaphorical snowglobe and can’t wear heels to work?

Most days I wake up and hope against all odds that my hair picks a side between curly and straight and sticks to it.  A lot of times that doesn’t happen, and it makes me really upset.  If I knew it was going to be a bad hair day, I would have worn it in a bun initially, instead of wasting all it’s promise on the morning where I slapped myself every time I went to move one perfectly formed tendrel away from my face.

I moved out of my parents house almost two years ago, during that time I attempted to move my dresser up three flights of stairs.  Eventually, I just asked my three younger brothers to help me out.  I’m a huge advocate of outsourcing labor.  Especially when it involves me delegating and not participating.

One time I was so hungover that I called out of work.  The struggle was so real.   I persevered by taking an inordinate amount of naps on a Wednesday.

There are a lot of aspects of my life that I find particularly difficult.  For one, I can never decide which restaurant I want to try first, so I often make a decision based on the wine selections.  If they don’t have pinot noir, they are obviously a bootleg establishment, and don’t deserve my parents’ my money.

In attempt to not sound completely superficial and unaware of other human beings on this planet, I want to let everyone know that I have read multiple books — well, I sparknoted them — and understand the plight that other races and cultures have experienced through the written word.  And boy, does that suck.

But the thing is, I’m not minimizing any of that stuff.  I have feelings, thoughts, and values.  I am a real person who empathizes with others.

I value shopping and what it does to support the economy.  I am absolutely aware that my hard-earned dollars are contributing – in some way that I don’t actually understand – to this country’s health and well-being.   I think voting is scary, so I don’t do it because politicians use big words and research is a lot of effort.

I feel like all the problems in the world would be solved if we were all tan and from Florida. You know why you never hear about unrest in Florida?  Because everyone is actually resting and enjoying the sun.  There’s no time for fighting when you’re living in a perpetual fantasy land.  You’re welcome, world.

But growing up privileged does not mean I am immune to adversity.  I posted a Facebook update on my whereabouts during my European vacation, and only seven people liked it.  I took that as a cue to make a better effort at posting more interesting updates.  By the end of my trip, I had almost forty people like my post about, “Putting the ‘Bar’ in Barcelona!”  Success.

I do my best to shatter the rich white girl stereotype.  Whenever there isn’t an attendant on duty, I’ll wait five minutes before reluctantly pumping my own gas.  I also make a point to throw my spare change into the tip donation jars, you know, because every penny counts and I don’t use them anyways.

It’s not all glitz and glamour.  I face just as many strifes each week as another person.  After a hard day of pretending to work (but going on Pinterest instead), all I need to relax is a goblet of wine and a good television show.  It’s times like these that I realize the Gods are smiting me because last week I had no wine on a Tuesday and my Netflix crashed so I was forced to watch the news.  I was asleep in my clothes before 8pm.  Thanks a lot, technology.

People say it’s a dog eat dog world, but I’ve never witnessed it.  I can’t understand why a dog would want to eat another dog, and I don’t really understand why that phrase applies to human nature in the slightest.  I’ve never been denied a job opportunity, and constantly look for ways to slide under the radar while still being labeled as “efficient” within my workplace.

I’m just trying to do my best to survive on a reasonable salary while maintaining an active social life and not buying store-brand groceries.

I’m a common white girl and my idea of a struggle is understanding what it means to struggle.

Image

Dance Dance Revolution

The first time I can remember being confused by dancing was when my my dad would play Elvis Presley records and jived around my living room in a bathrobe to ‘Hound Dog.”

The second time was I witnessed my mother grooving to the tunes of her youth at a Bruce Springsteen concert.  It wasn’t really dancing, but more of a feet firmly planted, upper body twisting while simultaneously moving arms in a ‘choo-choo train’ motion to the beat of “Born To Run.”

I’m absolutely forty-percent positive my parents were once big-whigs on the dance floor. But after the poor display over the course of my youth, I felt certain that I was destined for mockery when it came to cutting a rug.

It only recently dawned on me that not only do we enter different stages of life as people, but of dancing as well.  Do you ever see an eighty-year old woman dropping into a worm?  No.  Can you picture a four-year-old busting out jazz hands like he or she is the main event at a cheerleading competition?  Not intentionally, that is.

We enter a phase of dance that follows us through specific years of our lives.  From birth to death, there are certain dances that are inherently acceptable and they are as follows:

Toddler

This is when you’re a baby and dancing means grasping firmly onto any surface that will withstand your baby grip and repeatedly trying to sit down whilst not letting go.  It’s like you’re doing wall sits, but there happens to be music going on and your mother claps in approval while filming your half-sits and appropriately titling it “JOSH’S FIRST DANCE!” when she posts it on her Facebook wall.

Elementary School

If you are a girl, you had your friends over your house while you made a choreographed dance to the best hits of the decade.  The amount of times I had my mother sit and film my friends and I doing dance routines that consisted of high fives and somersaults is almost unmanageable.  But it’s a just right of passage to the better years.

Middle School

Middle School dancing is all about the Bat and Bar Mitzvahs. If there was ever an age-inappropriate event it would be these shindigs.  Sure, I had fun, but attending a party that cost ten grand at twenty-two would have been a way better use of my Saturday afternoon. The cutest boys were there, there were cheap, carnivalesque prizes, and a DJ spinning on the ones and twos.  Everyone who was anyone was invited.  There were parental chaperones, so the closest dance you got with a boy was a slow dance to Brian McKnight’s “Start Back At One” and you always had to dance forming the shape of an A to leave room for Jesus.

High School

Prommy, prom, prom.  Is he going to ask?  Am I going to have to shell out two-hundred dollars for a faux satin dress with gaudy embellishments that I will wear only once? The first taste of adulthood comes with a hairdo that never turns out the way you want it, and a first come, first serve atmosphere when it comes to dresses.  You do NOT want to have the same dress.  Also, make sure to get one with forgiving and flowing fabric; you’re going to need it when you’re grinding dirty all up on the overly hormonal boys in your class.  Feet planted, legs alternating, as close as possible, hands around the neck, then move back and forth in sync.  That’s it.  You’ve mastered the art of the high school grind. NEVER MAKE EYE CONTACT.  So awkward.

College

Go to the bar. Get a drink, dance alone.  Dance with a guy.  Dance with a girl.  Dance against a wall.  All acceptable.  As long as when you’re dancing, the drink you’re holding is swaying back and forth uncontrollably and spilling everywhere. You’re a hot mess and it’s okay.  Nothing is expected of you.

Wedding

Suddenly, all the songs that were the hot beats at middle school dances are all the rage again at your wedding.  It’s like you instinctively remember that you are leaving your youth to enter holy matrimony, so the final event on your first day of marital bliss will be to take a trip down memory lane and Cha-Cha Slide and YMCA all over the reception hall.

Parenthood

Is there anything more embarrassing than Dad Dancing?  Showing up with your parents at an event and after the meal looking over to find you dad flailing his arms in the air like he’s sending SOS signals to the DJ. Look over to your right and you see your mother simulating a choo-choo train and everything comes full circle in your life.  You’ve seen the pinnacle of bustin a move, and your future with gyrating does not look pretty.  But hey, at least you can make it look good, right?

Bad Habits Don’t Always Need to Be Broken

Your twenties are chock full of bad habits.

You’re young, you’re in your prime, you’re on your own. COOL!

You’re irresponsible, you drink too much, you took another selfie, you spent all your money. NOT COOL!

But why does everyone have something to say about it?  Telling me what should I be doing.  Advising me on what I should avoid.  There are hundreds of lists on every corner of the internet either agreeing or contradicting with what someone else has already said.

People grow up at different rates, and these compiled lists of what we should and shouldn’t be doing is entirely based on a generic assumption of how a ‘twenty-something’ acts.  We don’t act the same.  We’re not all on the same timeline.

As a ‘twenty-something’ myself, I read these lists and immediately compare my life to what they’re telling me to do and avoid.  Sometimes I agree, but sometimes I don’t.

Look, I get it.  I’m not supposed to break the law, and being inappropriately drunk in public before 2pm is frowned upon by society.  But half the battle of being in your twenties is moving out of your parents home – IF YOU CAN, figuring out your relationships – IF YOU HAVE ONE, and managing your money – IF YOU HAVE ANY.

The idea of being twenty-something and having your life figured out is utter insanity.  Yes that is the ultimate goal.  But we all know that.  Why do we have to grow up immediately after college and not have fun anymore?

I don’t think you ever reach a point where you have it figured out.  My parents don’t even have their life figured out.  They moved to the suburbs thirty years ago, and now have no idea what to do with their lives since we’ve moved out.

I bet they didn’t think about that when they had four kids under five-years-old. They were just trying to survive the day without wanting to (metaphorically) kill all of us. It was a stage in life. Just like now.

Personally, I have a lot of bad habits.  But the majority of them stem from my age.  Isn’t that the whole reason we take away knives from children and allow eight year olds to pick their nose?  They grow out of it, and so will we.

Please don’t tell me to stop comparing myself to other girls, because girls just do that.  It’s in our blood.  If you ever meet a girl who says, “Yeah, I don’t really measure myself against other women, it’s a waste of time because I just love myself so much, and know that I’m worth it.”

That girl is either lying or she is a man.  Women innately want to analyze things.  Not just bodies, not just minds, everything.  We compare tile samples at Target, paint swatches at Home Depot, and the vacuums at department stores before we buy.  We are pros-and-cons list advocates, and it has nothing to do with how we feel about our own bodies, that’s just the most obvious comparison we, as women, happen to make.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to grow up.  Next thing you know, you’re sixty and spend three hours a day wondering where your life went.  Find a balance between toddler and parent and stick to it for a while.

It’s okay to be weird, it works.  Just don’t lick anyone’s face and people will think you’re quirky.

Let’s stop talking about the quintessential post-grad love life.  Relationships, and lack there of, are not unique to this age bracket.  Reaching your twenties just means you’ve progressed to a whole new level of issues.  It’s like you’re in a real life video game, and it’s saying, “Congratulations!  You’ve reached level 22, you are now equipped to deal with the reality of dating in a thriving metropolis! Go forth, enjoy it!”

Newsflash: Where you live now is just a bigger version of high school or college. Same problems, different location. Adapt and deal.

Unless you have a dress code at work, don’t let anyone tell you what to wear.  The fact that wearing sweatpants outside of the house isn’t acceptable is a crock of shit.  Wear what you feel comfortable in.  It’s not “if you look good, you feel good,” rather it should be, “if you feel good, you’re more confident.”  And confidence is more important than wearing a tight pair of pants and heels because basketball shorts are forbidden at the grocery store.

You’re at the goddamn grocery store.  Do you really think people care what you’re wearing when you’re selecting which cantaloupe feels more ripe?  No.  They’re more concerned with the amount of items in your cart and whether or not they should try and cut you in line.

Who cares if your friend group is sizably smaller than it was in college.  When you were at school, if you attended, there were thousands of other people at the same place passionate about the same things.  If everyone in the world lived in places based on the same interests, this would make it possible for everyone to have infinite friends.

Instead, we live in the real world, where people have to embrace differences and work to establish meaningful friendships.  Ignore everyone who tries to tell you how many friends you need to have.  This isn’t high school.  Life doesn’t care about your friend count.  If you’re happy, that’s what matters.

At the end of the day, follow your gut.  More times than I can count, my first instinct was the best one.  If you have to overthink a decision, chances are it probably isn’t a good idea.  Unless you’re dealing with ghost peppers and heights; then thinking it through is always a plus.

Your twenties are chock full of bad habits and bad decisions to match.  But you don’t have to break them right away.  Let’s make this a judgment free zone, avoid the snarky comments revolving around making a bad decision, and let the individual decide whether or not to do it again.  After all, you are an adult now, and it’s time you decided what is and isn’t good for you.

Along the road you’ll encounter a problem, a blessing, an inconvenience, and eventually, a reward… your thirties.